JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Investigators are still searching for whoever hit and killed a local nurse in 2016 while she was crossing Merril Road in Arlington.
It’s been six years but now her son is opening up to News4JAX about their need for answers.
Helen Schafer, 61, was a grandmother and worked as a Hospice nurse.
The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said the driver took off and left Schafer to die alone in the roadway.
“My kids deal with it. They still miss their grandma. And we all do,” son Christopher Schroeder said.
Schroeder said he found out the next morning after getting a call from his sister.
“We seen it on the news and we’re like, oh, man, that’s horrible. And then next thing we find out, it was my mother,” Schroeder said. “It’s just gut-wrenching. It just hurts so bad. It’s even hard to continue even going.”
But he found a piece of hope when detectives identified a car that could have been involved in his mother’s hit-and-run.
“Come to find out it was the car with my mom’s DNA on the car. The cop said that. They went through, they checked everything. And only DNA came from her and her family,” Schroeder said.
But DNA alone wasn’t enough. The owner of the vehicle said she was not driving that night. She said she loaned her car to someone she just met but didn’t know their name.
Without being able to prove who was actually driving, police could not make an arrest.
A year and a half went by before detectives called Schroeder to tell him they were closing his mom’s case.
“I was furious. I didn’t understand why. But deep down inside I knew why because they got nowhere no leads. No nothing,” Schroeder said.
But that wasn’t going to stop him or his family in their search for answers.
The Schroeders started working with JSO’s Project Cold Case.
“They put my mother on the playing cards and everything, just to try to get the word out. So people see,” Schroeder said.
If you or anyone you know has any information in connection with Schafer’s case you are asked to contact JSO or CrimeStoppers.